Here’s the press release from ShawChicago:
SHAWCHICAGO ANNOUNCES 2011-2012 SEASON
CLASSIC THEATER FEATURING
STRONG WOMEN AND VACILLATING MEN
NOEL COWARD IN TWO KEYS,
AND TWO WORKS BY GEORGE BERNARD SHAW:
ANDROCLES AND THE LION,
AND MRS. WARREN’S PROFESSION
CHICAGO – August 8, 2011 – Artistic Director Robert Scogin announced ShawChicago’s 18th season of concert readings. The season will open with Noel Coward in Two Keys, Coward’s unique view on the endgame of two seemingly successful but dysfunctional marriages October 15 – November 7; followed by Androcles and the Lion, Shaw’s comic contest of will between Christian compassion and Roman cruelty, February 4 – 27, 2012; and a revival of Shaw’s popular Mrs. Warren’s Profession, where two courageous women defend their opposing choices for a better life, April 15 – May 15. Performances are Saturdays and Sundays at 2 pm and Mondays at 7 pm.
“The plays of George Bernard Shaw and his contemporaries changed not only the style and content of early twentieth century theater, but the audience’s perception of theater itself,” noted Scogin. “The plays focus on social, economic and political problems that are timeless.”
The not-for-profit ShawChicago was first created in 1994 as a program of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs to present the plays of George Bernard Shaw and his contemporaries in concert readings at the Chicago Cultural Center. ShawChicago’s first production was The Doctor’s Dilemma, presented in response to the controversy about health care during the first Clinton administration. The production deftly illustrated the fact that Shaw was always years ahead of his time in matters both political and human. Beginning with the 2000-2001 Season, ShawChicago established itself as an independent non-profit theater company, and in January 2003 ShawChicago became the resident theater company at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts. In the seventeen years since its creation, ShawChicago has produced all of Shaw’s major plays except Saint Joan, and that masterpiece is on the schedule for the near future.
ShawChicago’s 2011-2012 Season
Noel Coward in Two Keys by Noel Coward, directed by Robert Scogin
October 15 – November 7, 2011 at the Ruth Page Theater
Noel Coward takes his usual incisive examination of seemingly stable marriages to new heights. This pair of one-acts from 1966 focuses on the older crowd. In Come Into the Garden, Maude, Anna Mary Conklin is determined to use her husband Verner’s American millions to conquer European High Society. The arrival of a Roman lady at their Swiss hotel derails the Conklin social assault. In A Song at Twilight, Sir Hugo Latymer, a famous novelist, is seriously ill. His dedication to preserving his image as a brilliant writer and selfless humanitarian is suddenly in danger when a lady from his past arrives, with incriminating letters and a threat of blackmail.
Androcles and the Lion by Bernard Shaw, directed by Kevin Christopher Fox
February 4 – 27, 2012 at the Ruth Page Theater
Androcles, a humble but devout Christian, befriends a lion in the forest by removing a thorn from its paw. Both lion and man are captured by the Romans to serve as entertainment in Caesar’s Circus. Shaw’s play gives us a fascinating examination of the diversity of Christian motives and thought. There is, in addition to Androcles, the Patrician lady, Lavinia, whose body recoils from sacrificing to the Roman gods. The warrior, Ferrovius, refuses to fight in the arena because his religion commands that he turn the other cheek. And there is the coward, Spintho, who runs away from Christianity. What happens in the arena so impresses the Emperor that he takes a new look at this inspirational theology.
Mrs. Warren’s Profession by George Bernard Shaw, directed by Robert Scogin
April 14 – May 7, 2012 at the Ruth Page Theater
Shaw’s Mrs. Warren’s Profession was so controversial when it first appeared in 1894, the British censor refused permission for a public performance in England. When it was first performed in America, theaters were closed and actors were arrested. The play was not allowed to be publicly performed in London until 1925, thirty-two years after it was written. Mrs. Warren is essentially a clash of wills between a mother and daughter over the path taken by each in their attempts to achieve financial security and a sense of dignity in Victorian England. Vivie Warren deplores her mother’s method of achieving security, but admires her brains and determination in going for it. The question is, will Vivie be able to find her own way, or must she submit to the one her mother has planned?
ShawChicago extends special thanks to its 2011-2012 season sponsors: The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, a City Arts grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and The Ruth Page Center for the Arts.
Season subscription tickets are on sale and can be purchased by calling 312-587-7390 and online at www.shawchicago.org. A 3-play subscription is $55, or $45 for seniors and $25 for students.
For more information on ShawChicago, please visit www.shawchicago.org.
Members of the press are invited to press openings on Sunday, October 16 at 2 pm for Noel Coward in Two Keys; Sunday, February 5, 2012 at 2 pm for Androcles and the Lion; and Sunday, April 15, 2012 at 2 pm for Mrs. Warren’s Profession. Seats for press openings can be reserved by calling 312-587-7390.